Globalizing Rural Land Use Change

Full Title

Globalizing our understanding of land-use change


As the world becomes ever more interconnected, the decision-making processes of a range of global and local actors and their social-environmental contexts have increasingly influenced use of rural agricultural lands. Rethinking and re-examining rural dynamics in the context of both biophysical and socioeconomic drivers is therefore essential. While a wealth of case study evidence exists, there is a need to integrate this data into a global context. Synthesis will enable a systematic classification of the multiple trajectories of rural land change and the conditions under which these trajectories are found world‐wide.

This workshop will synthesize knowledge on the global patterns of local land change processes using a range of cross‐disciplinary methods. Four central themes will be explored:

  1. Inventory of different, disciplinary methods for meta-analysis,
  2. The use of these methods in the interdisciplinary field of land science to synthesize case study knowledge,
  3. The use of this information outside academia, and
  4. The application of this information in integrated models for policy support.

Results of this meeting will yield a high‐level peer‐reviewed paper and a detailed plan for the development of a methodology to synthesize rural land‐use change trajectories.

Project Type
Team Synthesis Project
Principal Investigators
Jasper Van Vliet, Amsterdam Global Change Institute, University Amsterdam
Erle C. Ellis, Geography & Environmental Systems, University of Maryland, Baltimore County
Peter Claggett, US Geological Survey
Elizabeth Cook, Arizona State University
Erle Ellis, University of Maryland, Baltimore County
Kathleen Galvin, Colorado State University
Ricardo Grau, Universidad Nacional de Tucuman
Garik Gutman, NASA
Andreas Heinimann, University of Bern
Eric Keys, University of Florida
Tien Ming Lee, Columbia University
Jianguo Liu, Michigan State University
Ole Mertz, University of Copenhagen
Patrick Meyfroidt, Catholic University of Louvain
Mark Moritz, The Ohio State University
Lauren Persha, UNC Chapel Hill
Christopher Poeplau, Von Thunen Institute
Jose Rey Benayas, Universidad de Alcala
Brian Robinson, University of Minnesota
Thomas Rudel, Rutgers
Ralf Seppelt, Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research - UFZ
Karen Seto, Yale University
Terry Sohl, USGS
Jasper Van Vliet, Amsterdam Global Change Institute, University Amsterdam
Gabriela Vaz Rodrigues, University of Maryland

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